SingPost to arm postmen with smartphones, apps

A Singapore Post employee demonstrating the use of the SmartPost app on a smartphone at a near-field communication (NFC) tag. By March 2019, more than 50,000 letterbox nests will be tagged with NFC. SingPost said it plans to tag every letterbox nest
A Singapore Post employee demonstrating the use of the SmartPost app on a smartphone at a near-field communication (NFC) tag. By March 2019, more than 50,000 letterbox nests will be tagged with NFC. SingPost said it plans to tag every letterbox nest here with NFC.PHOTO: SINGPOST

Postal service also installing near-field communication tags on letterbox nests

Singapore Post is arming its pool of more than 1,000 postmen with smartphones installed with customised apps, as part of a push to raise postal service quality.

In the first phase of its SmartPost transformation plan launched yesterday, the national postal service provider is using wireless and digital technology to improve the delivery of registered mail and other trackable postal items.

Each day, SingPost processes about three million mail items. Of these mail items, about 10,000 to 20,000 are trackable registered parcels and letters.

Besides equipping its postmen with smartphones, SingPost is also installing near-field communication (NFC) tags on more than 50,000 delivery and collection points across the island.

By using NFC and serialised code scanning, together with the customised app installed on their smartphones, SingPost's postmen will be able to keep track of deliveries made.

The smartphone app also generates real-time prompts of standard operating procedures and provides on-the-go information about SingPost's various mail products and services.

By March 2019, more than 50,000 letterbox nests will be tagged with NFC.

The plan is to tag every letterbox nest in Singapore with NFC, SingPost said.

Customers can also get delivery status updates via SMS or e-mail and receive notifications of where they may collect items whose delivery they have missed.

New group chief executive Paul Coutts said: "I have joined SingPost for just over a week and from what I have seen in those few days, SingPost is a very innovative company.

"SmartPost is one of many innovations SingPost is using to address traditional postal challenges and take a disruptive step forward to meet evolving expectations for faster and more flexible deliveries, especially for e-commerce."

He said SmartPost was being phased in starting from the last mile first, "as this is the most vital and demanding part of our business".

SingPost has promised that more solutions to enhance other parts of the postal operation are in the pipeline.

Having a "digital backbone" will enhance the collection and integration of data across the postal operation chain, it said.

Such data can then be analysed to to improve the customer experience and make operational work process improvements.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2017, with the headline 'SingPost to arm postmen with smartphones, apps'. Print Edition | Subscribe